Saturday, May 6, 2017

Streaming Video Power Rankings Week #58 (Special "Unlike the Derby, no wagering on this, please" edition)

It was another busy week, and I am ashamed to confess I focused more on things than on watching TV on streaming services (OK, I was also watching satellite TV). Let's give it a go, anyway, eh?

1) Warner Archive Instant: Ladies and gentlemen, it has happened: WAI has uploaded seasons 2-5 of Eight Is Enough! Finally, my wish has come true. My BOTNS co-conspirator Mike suggested someone there is reading these power rankings. If so, thanks, and you deserve this reward for giving us all of Kildare and Eight Is Enough. Now can you please fix the Roku app so I don't have to look to the website to figure out what is available to watch? That would be worth at least another week at the top.

2) Hulu: Remember I said that I was going to rank this high just because I was paying for it this month and was determined to get my money's worth? Well, fortunately, there is actually some decent new content on the service. In fact, a lot of it is reality programming, but I can live with that as long as they don't dump Route 66 for it.

And let's give Hulu credit for adding a documentary about Batman and one of his long-neglected co-creators, Bill Finger. It debuts today, and I haven't watched it nor heard much about it, but its very existence is a big one on the ledger for Hulu. Also, the Hulu "We're not cable" TV service garnered strong reviews this week. Only the power of the Bradfords keeps Hulu out of the top spot this week.

3) Netflix: Just when I am temped to drop Netflix down a little bit--it was a slow week content-wise, and the new rating system still annoys me--it adds new seasons of a few originals. More importantly, I watched the first episode of 13 Reasons Why to see what the fuss was about, and I was kind of impressed.

4) Amazon Prime: Manchester by the Sea is now available on Prime Video, which is cool and all, but if I were a Prime subscriber, I would have been kind irritated it wasn't there the day after the Academy Awards.

5) MLB.TV: Took up a lot of my TV time this week, but I must admit that a lot of it was coming home, seeing the Pirates were losing, and turning it in disgust to see what other games were being played. That's the great thing about MLB.TV--there's always another game being played.

6) PIX 11: Yes, WPIX's Roku app jumps back onto the charts with an interesting week highlighted by the addition of a newscast from the night of the L.A. riots, with a reporter from a sister station soiling his pants while watching the area burn around him. I'd love to see more content not tied to a particular anniversary or milestone, though. Give us more promos and specials, please.

7) YouTube: I didn't actually see much this week besides music videos, so maybe this is a good time to mention that the Battle of the Network Shows podcast has a YouTube channel with episode-specific playlists going up with each new episode. Hey, it's always a good time to mention that, right? Right?

8) TuneIn: Oh, Deep Oldies Channel, you can chase away my rainy day blues. Oh, so many other channels, your limited playlists can bring them back.

9) Pub-D-Hub: A solid if unspectacular update last weekend puts the Hub back on the list. Most of their movie additions have been British movies lately, but there are a few interesting nuggets each week if you have the Gold membership (a few bones a year and highly recommended). I should really five

10) Pluto TV: Aggregator of live streaming channels keeps adding new ones, and while  it isn't A+ material, there is always something worth a look. I thought I noticed more ads when I looked at Pluto the other day, and that would not be a positive trend.

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